Knight-Kit "Star Roamer" Receiver
The Knight-Kit "Star Roamer" from Allied Radio is a transformer-operated, single-conversion, general coverage receiver using 4 tubes and covering 200KHz to 400 KHz and 550 KHz through 30 MHz in 5 bands . This minimalist superhet receiver also uses a selenium rectifier and one diode each for detector and noise limiting. The audio preamp tube is a dual triode 12AX7. Audio output is either a 6AR5 or 6AK6. The other tubes are a 6BE6 converter and a 6HR6 IF amplifier.
The Star Roamer was a very popular receiver. Quite a few are still in existence. It was sold for most of the decade of the1960's. The catalog shown in the picture is the 1965 Summer sale catalog. Part number for the Star Roamer is lsted as 83WYX102W in the catalog.
An excellent PDF copy of the manual can be found on the BAMA site. See my home page for the link to BAMA.
A former owner had replaced the electrolytic in the set with a tape-covered large aluminum electrolytic that was loose inside the chassis. I replaced it with small individual electrolytics. The tuning flywheel had also worked itself loose and had to be remounted. The speaker had been replaced by one of the wrong size. I was able to locate an original and replaced it. Deoxit was sparingly applied to the switches and controls. All the dry caps are ceramic and did not need replacement. The Star Roamer started life as a kit. Therefore solder joints, screw-terminal ground connections, and alignment were all suspect. I checked the receiver carefully and found the soldering to be complete and well-done.
The IF alignment was about 10 KHz higher than the specified 455 Khz. The alignment for the 5 bands ranged from somewhat off to a major misalignment on band 4 which would have resulted in very poor reception on that band. After tweaking the RF alignment, that band seemed to come alive with just an 18 inch clip lead for antenna.
After alignment, the results were as expected for a single conversion superhet with one stage of IF and no RF amp. Given its minimalist tube circuitry, this little receiver is a very good performer, on a par with similar receivers such as the Hallicrafters S-38A to E series and S-120 series. However, it does so with a safer transformer power supply, a proper fuse, an S-meter, a VLF band, and a lower price. As with all similar sets, the highest frequency band will see very little use. The set was intended as an inexpensive shortwave listening set and meets that purpose quite well when working properly. I have seen complaints about the Star Roamer questioning its performance. However, I wonder whether the receiver being complained about, which started life as a kit, was working at its full capability or whether a comparison had been made with similar receivers. I found it fun to operate for its intended purpose.
A Heathkit HW-29A "Sixer" transceiver was the previous item on the bench.